syndication

Wordpress

Building the ETMOOC Blog Hub (part 2)


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by epc

In my last post, I quickly overviewed the wordpress customizations I did to set up the ETMOOC Blog Hub. Using the Feedwordpress plugin for a few feeds is easy to do, and it does a rather slick job of finding feeds from a blog URL.

The messy part is dealing with a lot of blog feeds. Getting this part right is more than just tossing URLs into a magic box, you have to have a good grasp of how RSS feeds work in different blogs.

It’s messy.

Because of those pesky humans.

Over at ds106 we have a rather elegant blog registration system that Martha Burtis designed, that actually does a web registration and automatically enters someone’s new blog into Feedwordpress.

The thing is there is a bit of variability to deal with when allowing people to bring in any blog platform (that is what we want), because it can eb confusing to the individual, especially if they are new to blogging, what we ask of them.

The thing is, it’s most easy if someone says, “I am going to do this ETMOOC thing, so I am going to make a new blog just for that stuff” – all we need is the blog URL and Feedwordpress can figure out the right TSS feed to use.

It gets more complicated when someone has an existing blog they want to use to do ETMOOC writing. There is nothing wrong with this approach (especially since it is mine!) but we don’t want to subscribe to everything the blog publishes- we just want posts that are related to ETMOOC. So the person with the blog has to decide (and understand how) to use tags/categories in their posts to mark things they want to syndicate.

This is quite a powerful concept that is easy to overlook – it means I can do things like use a single blog to selectively push content to different places through an understanding of the flow.

This is compounded by the different ways blog platforms are st up for this kind of syndication.

Messy.

Wordpress

Building the ETMOOC Blog Hub (part 1)


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by agiledogs

I’m really getting the hang of setting up these FeedWordPress powered syndication sites- I wrote a few days ago about using this approach to create a twitter archive site for the ETMOOC site. At the same time, and more over the last few days, I have been tweaking the edges and putting into motion what should be a core of the site, the aggregation site for participants in the MOOC which starts next week.

Alec Couros has that draw power! I heard well over 1000 people signed up; the ETMOOC Google+ Community is brimming with intros of educators from all levels and corners of the world.

As a little bit of architecture, the main ETMOOC site (http://etmooc.org/) is running WordPress multisite, using URLs for subsites, and I have rolled out the two extra sites, the Twitter Archive (http://etmooc.org/tweets/) and the Blog Hub (http://etmooc.org/hub).

As of tonight, we are syndicating in 65 blogs and everything is humming nicely with 165 posts brought in:

blog hub

Check it out now at http://etmooc.org/hub. This post is more a run down of the WordPress mods to organize the site; in a next post I will go over the process for getting blogs into the mix.

Wordpress

Building ETMOOC Twitter Syndication/Archive

UPDATE June 19, 2013 Since twitter has killed their version 1 API, there is no longer a public RSS feed provided for twitter activity. Expect new solutions to emerge, one that is usable now is this method from labnol to convert the new JSON feeds to RSS using a Google Script. This method works in FeedWordpress.

I’m growing more and more and more and more (more?) interested in building out more syndication architectures like we have done in ds106, at a range of scales from te 600 feeds we crunch for ds106 to the 40 or so we did for the Project Community Class down to the 2 I do for my own self syndication.

Leaning towards the bigger end, I have been working to set this up for the ETMOOC thing Alec Couros (and about 90 other people it seems) are launching soon. It’s been a great chance to stretch some WordPress chops with FeedWordPress in place for the syndication engine.

Below I outline how I created the site that is archiving the #etmooc tweets – http://etmooc.org/tweets